Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Prayer

New Years Prayer:
Lord, as this New Year opens before us: Teach us how to love more fully. May our hearts walk more humbly, may our lives be yours more completely, may our passion for You be ignited more strongly, may our hope be more placed in You, may our fears be less strong, may we cease to believe lies, may we put others before ourselves, may we follow you no matter the course, may we find o...ur joy in You, may we be less selfish, may we worship more freely, may we serve more willingly, may we share more easily, may we study more thoroughly, may we pray more without ceasing, may we forsake the worlds offers, and may we become more holy, and become more filled more with Your Holy Spirit. This year Lord, May we become more yours, and less full of of pride…Lord, this year may we become more like You.
For over every selfcentered resolution we may have, and over every hope for the accomplishments ahead, may we instead desire most deeply to be more like You.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Choice: When Passions Go Dim and Hearts Grow Cold Part 1

There's a lot of different choices we can make in life; but this blog post is particularly about a 'certain' choice....
I find it rather strange how sometimes I go to do something that I've done a trillion times, and then one day I'm suddenly faced with vast complications. I'm continually discovering that I really have a lot to learn...
Just when you may think you have learned what you need in order to succeed, you are faced with a hindrance. There are two ways you can respond 1. Panic: Give Up, and believe that life is just to hard, and that you will never succeed 2. Face it: Keep moving forward, take the chance to learn, and believe that you can progress! Life takes courage. We have to keep up our stamina, not only physically but mentally and spiritually.

I'd like to give a few examples of this; First of all, I have this scripture that keeps entering my mind and that is "Do not be surprised at this fiery trial, as if something strange were happening to you". I know that it had a particular meaning in 1 Peter 4:12 about not being surprised if you suffer for Christ, and I don't want to do the verse injustice, but I feel that it relates also to this topic. I think a lot of times, when things are going fine, we do what we need to do, we go about our daily routine, and then one morning we are faced with some strange hindrance.

 For a 'physical example'; I've been singing for a very young age. I never took singing lessons, but I did take music lessons growing up and got a few tips from my teachers, and they encouraged me to project more, and helped me improve my vocals. Well, ever since I've been writing songs, and playing them with instruments and singing away. Until one day recently, I woke up, I went to the piano, try to sing one of my songs, and oddly I become quite aware of my lack of breath. And so I start to practice breathing more, and then I begin to not be able to breathe, and then my voice seems to disintegrate. To top it off my Mom notices and this makes it all the worse, as I'm trying my hardest to be able to sing, more than ever before, and yet it sounded like I was just squeaking out the lyrics.

 Horrid days...The panic strikes. Of course this isn't 'all' that presided my sudden lose of vocal'ity. First was the fact that I'm going to get a CD recorded of my songs in January. I was rather excited and anxious about it, because I have waited for this for a very long time. I've been wanting to do it for years. So this adds to the horror of my sudden 'reason for panic'.
Fact number two, is before I suddenly became aware of what I thought to be 'shallow breathing' I felt passionless spiritually. I suppose my 'reason' for singing wasn't exactly grounded in what it had before. Yet after all my preparation for this time in my life, when I could actually get a CD recorded of my songs; how could it be that suddenly my passion isn't as strong? ...As I type this I shiver inside. (this may have something to do with the weather ) but really I don't feel all that cold.

Perhaps it is because I'm opening the hatch on some truths that personally need to penetrate my life ... Because really; In this life we have to fight for what we 'have' in order to keep it, and we have to be willing to step out in bravery to receive and accomplish what it is that we haven't attained. At this moment I think of Pilgrim's Progress. I haven't read the book in years. But perhaps now would not be a bad time to pick it up. Right now, if I could easily sketch it, I would draw the picture of a man fighting to protect what He has, and daring forward to attain what He does not. When I think of the title of the book I just mentioned, "Pilgrim's... 'Progress'" It reminds me that life is process; of growth, of learning, of fighting...It helps for me to think of my name before 'progress' as the title of my story. In reality, we all live a story much like that of Pilgrim's Progress inside our souls

. We all have a choice when we are tried or face obstacles, either to: 1. Panic: Give Up, believe that life is just too hard, or that we will never succeed 2. Face it: Keep moving forward, take the opportunity to learn, and believe that we can 'progress'!

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you".... ~ 1 Peter 4:12

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~ 1 Peter 5:8,9

This is really in the spiritual sense...I believe though that in life most all of our 'passionlessness', 'doubt' is spiritually connected. Satan doesn't want us to succeed, or be vessels for the Lord's work. He does not want us to be passionate about Christ and the Gospel. Not only does He not want us to be 'on fire' for our God, but he wants us to give up on life. Our fleshes are pretty weak. We give up quickly. At the first sign of hardship, we sit down and pout. We want the finished product, we want the finish line, we want the easy way up and out. Physically, Mentally, Spiritually we can be pretty weak.

We need to do all things unto the glory of God. If we give our all, in no matter what we do, we are an example to others of someone who 'doesn't slack' and for some reason even non-christans and most all mankind has this respect for those who no matter the odds, 'go hard' and 'accomplish the goal'. I'm sure you've also heard it said "The harder the goal, the more rewarding the triumph"....Sometimes I see myself in the place Pilgrim was when he laid on the dungeon floor in the Giant's castle. Hopeless; because I fail to believe that I can make it out and make it to my destination. I don't really think this so much in the big picture of reaching the Kingdom, but in terms of accomplishing somewhat smaller goals, in various areas, some of which are particularly God centered, others of which are work for others, and even things I must pull through in doing for my own good. But you know, all along I have the key to opening the giant's dungeon door.

Whenever I lay there motionless on the floor of the cell that (either the work of Satan has formed, or a dungeon I have made for myself), I have the key all along. God gave it to me at the cross. And there are sometimes, I must admit, that we can't do things or accomplish things, even if we are re lit with the courage or the 'passion'. Some things can only be accomplished by surrendering to God, and calling out on Him to be our rescue.

He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youth will become exhausted, and young men will give up. "But those who wait on the Lord, He will renew their strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40: 30-31

There are times when we are without passion, and we can't seem to make ourselves 'feel' anything. Whether mentally, physically, spiritually, or all of the above. There are times when our hearts feel cold, and our desire to move ahead dead. There are some obstacles that we are tired of dealing with, there are those times when all we hope for is the end, but don't know how to get to the destination. We need to not only keep our eyes on the goal, our hearts a fire with love and passion for that which is beyond the finish line, but we must learn how to 'run the race', 'progress', 'learn', 'grow'.

Sometimes our eyes can be so set on having what's ahead that we do not learn how to embrace the opportunities for growth. We do not have open hearts towards learning, only obtaining, completing, or accomplishing. The true prize, is what we have learned in life. What really makes up our prize is not that we ran an easy race, without hindrances, but that we learned how to be victorious through, and over the hurdles. We must cultivate a passion and a patience, for learning. There is no 'success', if there is no 'growth'.

 We cannot expect to be perfect, or all knowing, in anything we do, whether in physical ways, knowledge, or in the way of the spiritual without refining, or without taking those hindrances ( learning opportunities) and not only enduring them, but taking the step into learning from them. You may be thinking; I can't do this on my own, I just don't always have the stamina, or the passion. And you are right. There are times when this comes down to 'You' and your choice, whether or not you will take the oportunities around, or sit and pout and wish things were completed by the blink of an eye. If you choose the second of the two, You will one day realize that you never get anywhere by sitting and wishing, only by putting a foot in front of the other.

 And then there is that second synario; where you've tried but you just can't seem to conjur the motivation to move ahead. And no matter what you may be facing, I would encourage you by saying the best you can do is to 1. Remember what it is that you desire 2. Rekindle or let your desire and/or (love) for it be re lit 3. Ask the Lord to give you the stamina/strength you need to do what you need to do and to glory Him with it. But I realize that in my life so far, that the best things I can do are those which God motivates in me. I realize that on my own things are harder to accomplish, even if they are goals that aren't exactly that of ministry, or Christ-centeredness. Of course I want to have a balance in that I want to give my all in everything I do. But most importantly, I have discovered that God's motivation, and the passion that comes from a relationship with Him is the most fulfilling and most meaningful. I am of little worth without Him.

 So, If you and I can make the right choice to: 1. Not to give up, Face whatever it is that blocks the way. Keep moving forward, take the chance to Learn, and believe that wecan progress; if we do this in the things for ourselves, we will do ourselves a big favor, if we do this in our spiritual walk we will not only do ourselves a favor, we make it possible for the Lord to continue to use us and bless others through us.

So when passions grow dim, and when your heart seems cold; when the choice stands before you; Choose the way of the Victorious. Don't give up, Keep the Fiath, Don't be lazy, Keep your mind open to learning, and Keep Christ first...You will go far this way.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Discovering God....

So this title for a book popped into my head and onto paper. I don't know whether or not it was inspired by something I've read or what, but I think it would be a great name for a new book ;)

"Discovering God amidst a world of Doubt, Apathy, and Disillusion."

 So...maybe I'll start blogging for this.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Courage to Change: Jesus is Your 'Friend'

Friendship is wonderful. There is really nothing to be compared with it. Friendship is special.

People motivate us in many ways....and for me, Friendship...It's a big motivator.
I suppose most of us understand the feeling of donating either time, money, attention, care, on someone other than ourselves. Perhaps you are the the kind of person that gives even more, who dons love, and the qualities that love produces such as compassion, long suffering, patience, and servitude...

How are you motivated by friendship? Everyone wants a good friend. Someone they call talk to about the matters of their heart, and feel safe with. Someone they can laugh with as well as cry with. Someone they can be serious with, and yet be silly with. Someone to whom they can be themselves around, and will love them for who they are. Someone who they can love, make happy, and lend a hand to as well. As much as everyone wants someone who will love 'them'...I believe deep down inside, everyone wants someone whom they can 'love', and 'give' to. Someone they can give of themselves to. Of course there are those who are more on 'wanting to be given to' side, and then there are those who lean more to the 'wanting to give' side. But both are ends of the same string.
Love ignites more Love. When you love someone, they almost can't help but love you back. Maybe not  always to the same degree, but 'Love' does stir something in most anybody. You love them them become more confident, more encouraged...Love is what makes Friendship even more special than just having common interests. Love makes friendships last.

Personally, I think that most of the horrible friendship breakups are because there was a lack of love  somewhere in the equation. Although there are circumstances where people change, or friends drift into different relationships with each other, some beneficial, some not. Some friends remain walking with you the same pace, the same path. They are like life long friends. There are those that pop out, and then pop back in, because although they may not be 'extremely close' they do still consider you a friend and care about you. Life is busy that's all.

There are different types of so called "friendships" that people create to be sure. But a true friend is really someone who cares about you, shares with you, and prays for you. A true Friend is someone you can count on, someone who is faithful. Friendship is a broad topic, so much can be mentioned. So much can be discussed. Good friendships, Bad 'friendships...It could fit in several blog posts to be sure.

By now this might not seem to par with what I've been mentioning but, I have this question, and it is this: 'How much do you dedicate, donate, give, to those you love?' Your: "Friends".
Sometimes I feel like we can get to carried away with friends (other people) and our relationships with them, that they become like idols. Have you ever considered how much time and thought you give to friends? Don't get me wrong, friendships are good, and they are necessary...but sometimes they get out of hand. They consume us. We begin to give too much to other people, the time we should be giving to Christ perhaps? We let other people determine our level of joy. This is not how God would have it. Other People are a big happiness factor...but they should never determine our "Joy" before Christ.

 If some relationship, some friendship you are in, has caused you to take your eyes off of Christ, and/or has stolen your should probably reconsider the direction of the relationship...
Joy and Liberty are two things that we should never consider as things we get by other people. Joy and Liberty have both already been bought for us, by the blood of Christ. He has died for us, and He has risen for us. We are to be Joyful, and derive our joy from the Lord...we must not let the enemy dampen it. Liberty is what we have by Christ, we are free in Him! we must not let others determine our liberty. Yes, there are times when the Christian is held captive, but in his heart, his is free, and he must still shine the light of the Lord.
You may wonder; "What is wrong with putting so much into a friend?" After all, everyone needs someone to give to, and someone who will give back". Yes true...But when it gets overboard is when your best friend, the one you love the most, are willing to give the most to, is not Jesus Christ but _____________.

Jesus wants to be Your Best Friend. No one else is as Faithful as Him. No one else is more loving, more caring, more compassionate then Him. No one else has given so much for you, and no one else likes you better for who you are. There is no one else who sees You like He sees you. There is no one else who hopes the best for you like He does. And there is no one else who will do for You what He can and will do for you. Why? Because Jesus is the Ultimate Friend. Not only because He 'can' be, but because 'He' is. In his heart there is not yesterday, but today...for If you desire him, every day you are in the best of friendships.

The best thing is, Jesus is the same...yesterday, today, and forever. His love for you is strong, and not changing with the tide. He desires you, He wants you, and He welcome you. I can't say I'm not doing my own changing, because that wouldn't be honest. That last part especially, that Christ is welcoming me to draw near to Him is a different concept. He is not hiding for me to find Him, not locking the door, and giving me a treasure map instead...but He is always present.

There is more to being Friends with God than what our human understanding tells us. I've been thinking that in order to get closer with God, I must do certain things. And I know some of these things would be beneficial, but God is calling each of us to give our love to Him, in the ways that we individually show it. Not everyone gives gifts to show that they are thinking about someone, or they love them. Some do. But just because someone doesn't always give gifts doesn't mean that they love less, they may just have another way of giving their love. As long as they do.

Some people give creative gifts to God to pour out their love for Him. They write songs, they play instruments, kind of like King David...some paint pictures...some do not creatively show their love for the Lord. This does not mean they love the Lord less....Now, there is truth that not everybody knows how to be a true friend to the same such a way, not everybody has the same relationship with the Lord. We all differ.

 But the fact is, no matter who we be, we need to be focusing on God more. We need to make Him the center of our Universe. We need to sweep our the other cares, and the idols we place before him, we need to set Christ back where He should, and wants to go. He loved you first. Remember that. And so it is, we love others, 'because', he first loved us.

Lord, I pray that we would care deeply about others, and be true friends. Show us what friendship really means. But teach us not to let friendships determine our livelyhood. May be remember that it is by You that we move, live, and have our being. I know that you want us to care for others, so that we may make differences in their lives. And I know that you search all hearts. But, Lord I just pray that we would draw even closer to You. That we would be in awe of You. That we would look at Your sacrifice on the cross, and we would look to your ressurection, and would realize that that is what should motivate us the strongest of all.

Forgive us for when we are destracted. Lord, I know that you realize, even more than I realize right now that we are not yet face to face. And until that day, we are not so close as to touch your hands your day we will be face to face, one day you will walk with us, talk with us, and we will hear your voice like running waters, and run into your arms, and let you swing us around. We do not have that yet.

You know that we are yet awaiting that. You are awaiting your bride groom. You are awaiting your dear friends. Until that day Father I pray we would keep prospective. You would teach us how to have a friendship with You, and realize that you truly are our friend. For there is a Friend closer and truer....and It is You.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Courage to Change: Praise & Thanksgiving

Here in America we celebrate a holiday called 'Thanksgiving'. We cook a big turkey, make mashed potatoes, and have pumpkin pie. A lot of folks though, don't really understand the title of this day of feasting. I hear a lot of people calling it "turkey day" instead. People have forgotten how to give Thanks. The word promotes 'want', 'desire', 'lust', and 'greed'. We have forgotten how to give thanks, and some of us have even forgotten, 'what' Thanks is. We are taught to want more than we have. If we search even deeper, we would find that by 'instinct', we want what we do not, or cannot have. It's a part of the sinful nature of man.
I think it is rather ironic, that the day after "Thanksgiving", is called "Black Friday", and it is a day of want, want, want, greed, greed, greed. Everyone wants what is on sale, even if they don't really need it.
The US has forgotten the meaning of "Thanksgiving"....And we have forgotten the reason for giving Thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ In everything give thanks: for 'this' is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Chronicles 16:34 ~ O Give thanks to the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endures for ever.

Psalms 18:49 ~ Therefore will I give thanks to you, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises to Your name.

Psalms 30:4 - Sing to the Lord, O you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.

Psalms 30:12 - To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.

Why do we give Thanks? We give thanks firstly, because we are blessed. What greater gift have we been given than eternal life? What more moving gift have we been given than the death of Christ in our place for sin? You see...According to the law and most likely wouldn't even exist right now. But, Christ bore the penalty for your sin on the cross. He also rose again in order to be a victor over not only sin, but death its self. Do we not have something to be Thankful for?? Why do we all live as if we are still under the law? We whine over this, we whine over that. We doubt, we cry, we panic. We fear everything will crumble right under our feet. We fear life, we fear death, we fear every breath. Why? I think a lot of it is because we do not give thanks. And we do not believe that God is in Control.

"In everything give thanks...How do we do that? Obviously, there are hurdles in our lives that we don't always feel thankful for. There are people in our lives that sometimes we would rather see punished than give thanks... even when they hurt us. We would rather cry ourselves to sleep, sit in misery, or scream out that we are dissatisfied. We see giving thanks as a fantasy, of some sort of 'pretending' to not see the circumstance as it really is. This is not true. Giving Thanks is not a cop out, or refusal of reality. If anything it is the opposite. Read the rest of the Scripture..."In everything give thanks: for 'this' is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

 Give Thanks in everything 'not' because it is easy, not just in the times you have everything that you want. But also in the times you are going through the worst trials. Give Thanks, Praise God...through 'everything'. For it is 'the will of God' that as His child, you do so. When we give thanks to God, even when we are experiencing hell fire; when we praise the Lord, even when we don't feel like it...We surrender our pity, our pride, our situation to God, and a proclamation that "We trust Him", and we realize that in order for things to get better, we must think on what is good, and not get caught up in pessimism and doubt.

 If we do not praise God in our storms, we get caught up in our pain. We think on it, mull over it, all the way to depression. Those who do harmful things to themselves are the fruit of those who did not 'give thanks, or praise God' in everything. My friends, we no longer have to be under the law of guilt, or sorrow. Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, and those of others. Giving Thanks even in the hard things, is almost the same as the concept of 'loving those who spitefully use you'. It's like 'praying' for those, who abuse you. God wants our hearts not to be tied down so tightly to this earth. In reality, He wants us  to live lives in the light of Liberty.

Stop being in bondage to your pain, or to the lies of others...Give God praise in all circumstances. He is worthy of your consideration, of your honor, and of your worship. Only when we surrender our pain, our sin, our relationships, our concerns to God will we begin to change. It's by making the decision to Worship Him, even in the hard times of our lives. Choosing to cling to our pain, our hurt, our not only prideful, and is detrimental to our selves. God knew we would experience trials, and tribulations. He knew that the world's and other peoples' sin still would have their arrows, that bring hurt, and pain etc.

Life was not fair to Christ, so it is not fair to us...But Christ has left us an example, and He has told us that it is God's will that we do not let sin, or it's fruit overtake us. It is alright to be angry. But do not stay angry over night. It's alright to feel sorrow, Jesus cried...but do not let sorrow steal your Joy away in serving the God of Liberty and Consolation. God wants us to live in the world, but not 'of' the world. Those of the world, who do not know the Christ, have no hope when bad things happen. Do not be like the heathen who have no hope. Do not ignore Christ and the healing He can bring. Remember, His is in You, and you are in Him. You are not your own, nor are you ever 'alone'. When people hurt you, they hurt Christ in You.

When you are guilty, ask for forgiveness and move on...Christ has died for You. Christ has Risen. Christ is with You. This is enough to give thanks for. Let Christ give you peace, even in the fires of life. The fruit of the Spirit, proves that love, peace, long suffering...are not supposed to be seasonal. Sometimes it may be hard to see God in the bleak moments of life. It may be hard to pray for those who are rude to you. It may be almost impossible you think to love those who have hated you...But listen, every time you choose to love instead of let hate eat you up, every time you let your focus go on a God, who is: FOREVER good, gracious, holy, loving, just, powerful, and merciful you do yourself a giant favor, and you do others a giant favor.

You save yourself from letting evil, sin, and injustice win. It's similar to what I was mentioning in an earlier blog post, on offenses. People can harm you, bad things can happen, mistakes take place, but if you let them consume you in thought, attitude, and reign over your living you let them win over you. Only believing the truth, praying or praising God...will set you free from not only hatred, bitterness, but lies and brokenness etc, etc!
 * * * * *
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will be continually on my mouth. My soul shall boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear and be glad. Magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together! I sought the LORD and he heard me and, and delivered me from all my fears.They looked to him, and were ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the LORD is good!; blessed is the man that trusts in him. O fear the LORD you his saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him. ~ Pslam 34: 1-9
 * * * * *
Come all ye creation! Come praise the Lord for His Goodnes! He is Forever Faithful, He is Forever Good. Come all ye sinners, come all ye saints, come all ye broken, fearful, and faint.
Come praise the Lord for His Mercy. His Love endures Forever.

Focus on Christ. You are His child. Everything else should get second dibs. You belong to Jesus, and he has sacrificed all for You. Focus on His goodness today, give Him what He deserves. When you let other things, your circumstances, other people's wrong doings, your own wrong, completely 'consume' you, you are pushing Christ aside, and living as if He is not all that He has proved to Be. Live in the Liberty of Jesus, Praise Him! You have so much to be thankful for...Try and focus on the good things.

Jesus has given you in your life. And Praise Him in your storms as well. He is Faithful, and He is True.. Taste and See! that the Lord is Good!

Lay everything else down before His feet.

Lay Um Down - Music Vid version

Lay Um Down - w/ Lyrics bellow

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Courage to Change: Lies & Doubt

Lies. They tare us apart, they crush us, the consume us, they deter us.
Lies. We believe them and they take us over, they trigger our reactions, they make us change for the worse. Lies. Those things you thought you would never believe, those little whispers you thought
you never listened to. Lies.

Lies are built upon false evidence, lack of understanding, lack of wisdom, lack of reason, lack of love. Lies are one of Satan's best weapons against us and our faith. What a person believes, no matter who they are, no matter what religion they are, or where they grew up, determines their lives. Discover what a man believes, and you will get an understanding as to what you can expect or not expect of him. Search inside and realize what it is you believe, and you will be able trace how it determines your actions.

There is no man that does not believe in something. In order to be agnostic, you must first believe that God doesn't exist. What you believe determines not only how you react but who you will become. Every story, every character, can be an example of this, whether fictional or historic. What a man believes, or 'thinks' to be true or not true, determines how he will act.

Today as I was pondering disbelief, I realize that certain things I have entertained in my mind, certain doubts, are actually 'lies' that I have believed. And I have believed not only these doubts, but the major lie that says 'there is no way out of the doubts'. I have come to the understanding that if I am doubting anything, it means I do not believe it, therefore I am either basing that belief on either a truth or lie.

If a person does not believe that the Bible is true, he will not account to the reality of sin. He will sense that something is 'bad', but he will not have reason to condemn it. In such a cases a landslide takes place... this is how Countries crumble, this is how Empires are formed. Evil becomes nothing more than a point of view, or an opinion of the individual. Humanism begins to break through the ground and spread forth all over. If a person does not believe in the reality of the devil, and lies he will fall prey to every lie, and base his theology on every false hood speakable. Do not let doubt have a grip in your life, not in any area.

Let your view on the Bible, crumble from truth to fiction, and you loose grip on reality. Let lies root and they will try and take you over. People believe all sorts of lies. They believe that nothing is worth while in life if they are not successful, if they are not married, if they do not have a girl friend...they believe that it is alright to kill children, that it is not sin to have sex outside of marriage...they believe that they are really another gender than they were born as, and that homosexuality is acceptable and good. People believe lies such as 'they aren't pretty', 'they aren't loved', 'they will never change'. Almost any problem you may have, or any change you want to make, comes down to ridding yourself of lies, and breaking your ties to them.

I sometimes wonder how this is possible, because I give lies too much power, because at times I believe the 'lie' that 'lies are more powerful than my will'. I must instead believe that Jesus has more power than any lie that I may believe. That He can free me, and fill my mind with the truth. I must not put my faith in my own power either, I must put my faith in the Lord. The fact is, If I am in Christ, no one can snatch me out of His hand. Satan would like to pull down the shades, and make me think I am alone, lost, and helpless, but it is not true.

 I like to think of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie, where Lucy believes the lie that she is not pretty, or special, and bases her actions on that lie, even to the point of stealing a spell to make her look like her older sister Susan. I think this is a powerful example, because she wakes up as in a dream and looks in the mirror and she is her sister Susan. She opens the mirror like a door, and exits to an outside party. There she meets up with her two brothers. She asks where "Lucy" is. And the brothers both do not know who she is talking of, and say there is only three of them....Lucy doesn't exist.

Lucy wakes up out of this dream and looks in the mirror to see herself standing there, Aslan, the Great Lion comes beside her and speaks to her, and asks her why she has doubted that she is beautiful the way she was created. Lucy realizes she has been believing a lie.

Other examples can be found in almost every single piece of literature you can pick up. I like to use movie examples, but recently I've been studying the "classics" of literature, and finding they are perhaps some of the greatest examples of the power of belief, and lies. Especially, when you take a look at the lives of the Authors themselves, it is really insightful.

Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein's Monster, Red and Black, I'd say any of the well known books you can pick up, no matter the time period, author, or genre...they all are not only the story of a character who believes something that motivates him in some way, but the Author who writes out of the sack of his own, painting words and ideas with his theology and with what he himself believes. We are most quite aware of 'wordview', every artist is a prophet of his or hers worldview. And you, may or may not be a prophet of your worldview if you are isolated, but you are a product in many ways, of what you believe.

 I am a bit amazed at some of the lies I have believed, I realize that I have been affected by them, even though I didn't consciously receive them. It was more like, the lies had seeped in without me realizing it. I must say that most of lies I have ever believed, are not ones that anyone else told me, but ones I told myself. Can you relate? No one perhaps has looked in your face and told you "You are Ugly", but you believe it none the less. Perhaps no one has ever said to you "I do not love you", but you cannot help thinking you are not loved. What scares me the most is the fact that the enemies lies can get away with, and doubt can get away with leading a person, even when they're void of statements, reason, facts, or proof!

Lies are the basis for Fear and Doubt. Fear is "false evidence appearing real", which means 'fear' is really a 'lie' that one believes and wraps ones emotions around. Doubt is quite similar, only doubt is a lie that one wraps their intellect around, rather than their emotions. I challenge you to break free from the lies that you have believed. You have to want to do it though. You must be brave. Do not believe the lie that says "you are not brave", and "you will never be"...For once step over the red line of fear, doubt, or pride and prove that the lie is mere lie after all. Earlier on I blogged something about "Offenses".

"Offenses" are usually the breeding ground for lies. If you are offended by someone, whether you are hurt by them, back bitten by them, or yelled at etc.. these circumstances, incidents, are perfect atmospheres for the planting of lies. If someone hurts you, for example you may believe the lie that says "everyone will hurt you", if someone treats you wickedly you may believe the lie that "everyone will treat you wickedly". What lies have you been believing? Have you been believing that perhaps your sin is unforgivable? Have you been believing that God isn't real? Have you been believing that you are all right in our relationship with God, but you are really pushing Him away?

 In my opinion Pessimism can be the produce of a mix of fear, pride, and doubt. Severe Pessimism is usually the fruit of a lie that has been believed by the individual. Sadly, a lot of us believe lies and base our actions and lives around them. Many do not realize they are even doing so. Most do not realize that when they believe something, whether they believe something is true or not, their belief, is leading their lives. May I say...that we all need to surrender our beliefs to God. We need to surrender our beliefs, not only the ones of Him, and of Others, but also of ourselves. We need to hand over our fears, hand over our doubts, and in doing so, kill the lies.

A lie is not powerful if we do not open our hearts to believe in it. Lies attach our intellect, and they attack our emotions. We must be careful to guard our minds and emotions. May we put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-20 The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Sandals of the Gospel, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, the Sword of the Spirit... so that we may fend off the darts of the evil one. Believe that you are God's. Believe that You are in Christ, and He is in you, and that you are in His care. Do not store up marks against God. One of the surest ways to entertain lies is to make a list of all the bad things people do against you, or make a list of all the times God has not answered you in the way you think He should have, and hold this list against your faith, the love of God, or the love of others.

 If you foucs on all the bad, you will overlook how much of the good has passed by your head. That is why God says to focus on what is Good, what is pure, what is praise worthy, to seek out these things, and to dwell on them! He wants you to be filled with what is good, so that instead of dwelling on offenses, (the breeding ground for lies) that you would dwell on 'the good' (the breeding ground for faith). If you dwell on the good, your head and heart will be lighter, and you will be stronger in harder times. You have been given ample opportunity to dwell on what is good, and all the good that God has done for you.

What will you choose? will you think on the good? or sit in the puddle of gloom and fester lies? Do no such thing! The Lord says, "I  am God, and there is no other. Forget not the hand that saved you, nor the love that is stronger than death". If you choose to let fear, doubt, lies consume you, you are letting them take the throne where God should be sitting in your heart, because God has saved you from having to stay in the dark anymore, and He has proved His love for You.

Do not let anything consume you but Him.

Are you letting lies rule you? What or who, is your Master? Fear? Doubt? Pessimism? Stop listening to the lies of the enemy, and wake up from your slumber. Stop letting offenses handcuff you, instead let love in where you have been hurt, or backstabbed. God is love. He wants you. this is not a lie! This is true!

Devil's Been Talkin - Need To Breathe

Bag of bones and blood red cheeks
Guilty from the words I speak
Say the truth will set you free
But it won't for me
Cause I'm uneasy in my skin
Hangin on by a thread
Life it hasn't left me yet
But I won't forget...
'The Devil's been talkin')
The ship is setting off to sea
But it's sailing without me
I can't help but feel I'm on
An island born to sink
...The devil's been talkin)

We can't change who we are
We are all alone...
'The devil's been talkin'

I'm running out
Of this hole alone
These fingers bled
Down to the bone
And I can't move
This hell is cold
The chorus sings
This is home...
'The devil's been talkin'

Bag of bones and blood red cheeks
Guilty from the words I speak
Say the truth will set you free
But it won't for me;
'The Devil's been talkin'

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Courage to Change :Desires and Your Future

Lately I've been thinking a good bit about the future of the lives of those around me. Most of them have eyes toward marriage and a future relationship. I look at their lives and I try to share with them my point of view...but over all I just want the best for them.

I think one the biggest topics to blog about right now would be Relationships and Desires and how we tie our Futures to them. I was in the mall the other day and the song I hear playing sang out "Everybody wants to be loved". And it's true. Even the sinful people, even those who are rejecting who God made them to be, really...most everyone wants to be loved.
A lot of us look out over the far field of our distant future, and either tie it's success with one of two things. 1. A Relationship 2.  A Status.

Usually, a person either thinks their future will be worth the living, if it holds a satisfying relationship, or a successful career. What is it that you tie your future's happiness with? Is it a lover? Is it a Musical Career? We all want to 'feel' good. And we have all heard that "God has plans for our lives, plans for good, and not for evil"...and we all expect this easy hay ride down the road to the magical future prepared for us.
The grass is always greener on the other side, am I not right? But what about "today"?
Is today any less of a miracle, or of any less merit than the future that you are always looking towards? What makes today any different from that day a few years from now? Is it because you still don't have what you want? Is it because you still haven't the title or status that you desire? Whether that be "married", or "famous", or "business man", or "artist".....

What if I said, that you are living 'the future' right now? Once upon a time you were younger. Once upon a time you looked out the window and gazed at that speck up the road that you imagined as yourself, some place in the future. "Right now" you are living in that 'future'. You are living in a moment you have never lived before. This Present, was once, 'the future', and it will one day be 'the past'.

Are you happy with where you are at right now? Perhaps you don't feel like you've actually 'arrived' at that place, or status of your dreams 'yet'. And that is o.k, there is still 'more future' to come. But what about the 'present'? What will you do with it? Some people get so consumed in 'the waiting' or 'the working' for the future, or for the finsihed project, or 'focusing on the completion' that they do not 'open the gift of today', like the "present" that it is!

I think most of us, have a common case of "completion anxiety". We want what we desire, and nothing else matters in life, if we do not have it. We strive and think about what it is we do not have, or haven't achieved, and we let the desire consume us. I feel a lot of single folk do this. This get so consumed in the idea of getting married, or falling in love with Mr. or Ms. Fireworks that they let it lead their lives. All that begins to really matter, is finding or uniting with that other person. Life is miserable without them, and less worth the living. This is a lie. Desire can actually blind us from the beauty of today. We want something, so much that we let the thought of it rule our lives, determine our happiness, and we begin to believe that we shall 'never be happy' if we do not have what it is we desire most of all other things.

I am learning the fact that life is not all about what we want. It is not all about what we think we should have, or should be doing. Life is a matter of the more overlooked things. Each day is what makes up life, not just every want that fulfilled, every desire that is satisfied. One day we will live in paradise and we shall not longer long and doubt like we do here.

What does your life revolve around? Does it revolve around 'attaining the future'? "getting there"? "becoming better?" "being in that relationship"? Don't let your life become consumed by anything, so that you believe that life is not worth the momentary living. Focus on what has 'already been accomplished' for you ;) and live life in that light. You can strive, and strive for a closer relationship with Christ, but unless you live believing that he is with you every moment, unless you stop focusing so much on 'what you should do', and realize that what really matters is what 'He has done for you' then you shall not grow like you desire.

 There is nothing 'you' can do to become closer. It is the reality of what "he" Christ has already done that changes a person, and brings a hope and a joy to every moment, and to the future. People have told me "draw closer to God" "do this, do that, come into his presence", but it just all sounded to 'self centered to me'. I don't believe any more so much, that really it was "I" who needed to grow more, but rather "Christ" who needed to grow more in me, until He took me over. And the only effort I needed to take was to let Him. To focus on Him, and what he's already done, rather than what "I" need to do, or the relationship I "should" have had with Him.
Because, that relationship could only come into being, if I lived like I was always in His presence, if I feel in love with "Him", by focusing on what He had done for 'me', and not what 'I' should do to make Him bigger somehow in my life. That isn't think that we can 'make God bigger in our lives by going through the motions more'. It's ridiculous.

The way God becomes bigger in our lives, is by focusing on what "He's" done, and the awesomeness of "Him". That's how we fall in love with Him; not by praying more, not by merely by reading the words of the bible more, not merely by singing more, or fellowship with other Christians on Sundays or week day nights. But, by discovering what He has done for us, focusing on who He is, by reading how he reacted, served, loved, in scripture. By Believing He is who He says He is, and believing in what he has done. If you do not believe, truly believe, what he has done for you, than the rest doesn't really matter. You can go through all the reading, singing, studying, fellowshiping, but if Christ doesn't move you with who He is, none of that will draw you closer. But once you realize the reality of God, the God who Was, and Is, and Is to Your life and in others. Then every day has meaning. What He's done gives purpose for today, for tomorrow, and for eternity.

It's time to ask yourself...Instead of what you want from your future...What does God want?
What would God live right here, and right now? If it's a closer relationship with Him than I recommend you open up your heart, receive again the truth of what He has done for You, and let it motivate you to worship Him in return. "God" has a purpose for You, your life, and your future. And that is for it to fist Glorify Him and for You to be blessed by Him. And even if your desires are good desires, and even if they could easily be fulfilled by God.
 I recommend you to lay them down before the throne of God, and tell Him to align your priorities and your desires. Live in the moment. Live in today. The person who lives in the moment and lives in the present, are those who 'believe'.

If you do not believe that anything else is worth while in life, but the one thing you desire most, than you will not enjoy the other gifts surrounding you. God Has given you "Life". He has given you emotions, He has given you senses, He has given you a mind, He has given you a body, He has given you a Soul. He has formed you in your Mother's whom. God has made made the flowers, stirred the wind, formed the sun to shine, and the moon to glow. God has put in you the breath that you are breathing right now. God has died for your own sin by the sacrifice of His Son, and taken your penalty.
 God has said that He has gone to prepare a place for You, and that Heaven will come down to earth. This is Hope. This is Future. God said He has plans for us, a "future" and a "hope", and He has. It's o.k to have desires. God has placed some of them inside you. But, don't let them get out of hand. Don't let them rule your living, so that you cannot enjoy all else that you were intended to enjoy. "Live", not some day in the future, but "right now"! Breathe! most importantly...Believe. - All Along - I'm Letting Go

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Courage to Change: Believing

You can tell someone over and over about how they should find their purpose in living  for Christ, but just you telling them that, won't make them "change".
You can tell a person that her guy friend is only bringing her down in life, but it doesn't mean she will do anything about it. You can have all the facts, fruit, and proof in the world to preach with, but that doesn't mean those you share it with will change or "act" on it.

 Because you can (and should) plant the seed, but it's their choice whether or not to let it take root in their life. You may find it insane, because after all, if you told someone their "house was burning down", you'd expect them to want to "put out the fire". Or maybe you are someone who imagines everyone wants to live "Their Utmost for 'His' Highest". But that is not so. You can tell your closest friend about how you have been inspired to sell everything you own and give it to the poor, to follow Christ.... if they don't think you are stupid, they might even agree with what you are doing, but inside many think "That's their life, I'm Scott free...I don't have to sacrifice at all, not in any way."

It's the same when you tell someone about their need for the Savior. Without blinking they may listen to you, but it doesn't mean they will start a relationship with Him tomorrow.
When you say to someone "God is Your Friend", or "God is your Lover", or "God is your King", or "God is your Father", it won't change the way the hearer comes to God and lives their lives, 'unless' they 'believe' it.

You can be told multiple times that God is Your Best Friend, but unless you discover it for yourself, or desire it for yourself you won't experience that 'friendship'.
A lot of people are 'told' in Church that they must do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that, but unless it's discovered, realized, or believed in the heart of the person, it's not going to make a difference.

God would rather we did everything out of trust in Him and His will than have to be told everything to do. I've heard it many times, over and over "come into God's presence", "God wants a closer relationship with you", "draw nearer to God", but that could not help me much. I wanted to give all of me, and I wanted to experience God more, but the fact is just saying "You must come into God's presence" wasn't the answer for me. In order to do that I needed to first, believe I could go deeper, second, "know"/discover what God's presence 'was', to begin with!

 I want to say...It's important for you to know that, every person does not, and should not, have to have the same 'relationship' with God. Other than the fact that they see Him as a All Powerful God, and Savior or their Soul...Because everyone has a different piece of God to see and share. For example; the difference in the Gospel Writers prospectives of Christ. It's said from reading the gosepls, that Mark seen Him more in the light of "Servant" God, Matthew in the light of Him being "King", Luke's vantage on Christ as our " Good Shepherd and Savior", and John's prospective of Christ as "Friend" and "One with the Father".

 It's important to note that all these vantage points on Christ though, were not only their 'own'. God has proven, expressed himself, and even described himself as each of these things throughout the entire bible. My point is that not every person has the exact same relationship or need for Christ to fill in order to reach them and grow in a deeper relationship with Him. So how do you see God? Is He your "Best Friend"? Your faithful "Lover"? Your Compassionate "Father"? Your "Mighty King"? Your "Judge"? Or do you see Him on the other side of Salvation? As your "Condemner", Your "Slave Master"? Is He even real to you at all?

To you, is He just a fragment of others imaginations? Is He just the words that your Preacher ? or who Your Parents say that He is? Maybe He is impersonal to You, perhaps He's just "out there" somewhere...

Everyone has a place where only God can go. No man or woman can go there. No one can say they have 'your' relationship with God. It's not so. And it won't matter what people tell you, or they say you should or shouldn't do, if it doesn't touch you enough to be "open" to change, or encourage you to go before "God" and work at it with Him, then it's not bloomed...This doesn't mean it happens right away, most times in people's lives it doesn't...because not everyone is willing to change...they are not ready to "move forward" or "let go" of what they are holding to. So it blooms later on, sometimes the seeds add up, sometimes it takes something more drastic in their lives...They make a big mistake...and need God to come or else they are done for.

Don't wait until it's a drastic decision between "God" or committing Harry Carry. Find Him while you are skipping through the posies. Find him before the dark falls, and the curtains pin you to the floor. How? I encourage you to take a moment and think about how you view God...Then, consider what you are ready and willing to give. Thridly, ask God to expose the doubts you have entertained. Be willing to let the truth break the lies.

It's up to You and God. That's where change takes place. God uses others, he can use their words and actions to make you consider, to make you think, to prove to You that He is Sovreign, Alive, and Working. But it is ultimately between you and God. Doing things, going through the motions of change, just because you "know" you "should" be...does not make you different inside. You will just go back to the same old, same old. And God doesn't want tokin prayers, or just compromise. He wants "You". Because He made You, and You are to be a part of Him; to share His Kingdom, to share His love, to see his Glory, to feel His grace, to embrace His love. Only by believing in Who God is, can You worship Him back. Otherwise you will not feel the need, or the desire.

1. Take a moment and think about how you view God
2. Consider what you are ready and willing to "give"                
3. Ask God to expose the lies you have entertained.
4. Be willing to let the truth your discover, break hold of doubts

Your view on God determines how you reacte to His hand in Your life. It determines how open you
are you are to Him. What you're willing to give, and what you aren't willing to let
go of, determines how much you will venture on Christ, and how much you will live for 'Him'
and embrace His will for Your life. Discovering the lies you've entertained can change your
perspective on a habit of actions you may have, and being willing to let the truth in Christ
break those lies can change you greatly.

Are you willing to change? Do you "believe" you should? Are you just going on the words of others;
that say "You need to stop", or "You need to change"? Unless you really believe it, examine yourself, and realize what kind of relationship you have with God, and want with God...just going through the motions isn't much of a help. It's not change.

Change is an inward thing. Being willing to change means, believing...that you are not where you should be, and you want to be somewhere else.
And then it means, being willing to let go of the sin or what is bad for you, and letting the truth of God, and the perfect will, love, peace, fulfillment of God takes the past's place. It means first realizing your mess, wanting better, giving up the bad, and filling it's place.

God wants "good" for You. He wants you to eat the meat off of His table, and not the food in the doggie bowl. He misses you at His table, He'd like to see your smiling face. He'd like to see you nurished, and fit for what he'd like to give you. Come all you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be filled! Knock and it will be opened unto you, seek and you will find...if you seek with all your heart ;)

You must believe He is worth it. Discover the God that you have always needed, and has always known you, just for who you are. He does not expect you to be someone else before Him, he wants "You". Which means buddy time, which means you and Him, which means the road to more, which means not only the road to change, but the road to eternity.

Be willing to let God  fill the spot of the Lover who isn't Faithful, because God is Faithful. And if you trust God, He will give you the desires of You heart...If they are good for you, and lead you uphill.
God wants you to know love, peace, hope etc...Stop looking for it in other places, and believe He knows everything. You can tell someone over and over, that there is more of God. You will never know unless you seek Him with all your heart. Change is (=) turning, forsaking the past...and moving ahead into something new, something worth changing for. Is God worth changing for? Is true love worth sacrificing for? What do you believe?
It all hangs on that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Courage to Change: Repentance

The remorse sets in for what you've done. It hits you like a wave. You didn't have to let it happen, more accurately, you didn't have to engage it it. Sin. The word that haunts you after you've taken it's hand, the word that defines your worst deeds and actions. If only you could be rid of it completely. If only you could forget about it.

Sin. The thing that has hurt those around you, the very thing you've been hurt by yourself, it's something you've let take a hold in your life. Now the curtain is falling, the dark curtain of sorrow and pity. You take it for what it is, and cry at the consequences you've brought upon yourself. The pain is too much, it's too much to bare. All you wanted was to be was liked, all you wanted was to fit in, all you wanted was to be free, all you wanted was to dull the emotions of yesterday.  The consequence is unbearable, certainly God could remove the suffering, that is, if He was still there with you, maybe He'd gone out with those you'd let down.

You didn't deserve this, did you?  You "will" be better, you shall you shall. You will move on and take the new chance ahead. You stand from your puddle of tears. God has given you a second chance, you know He has. You wipe the tear stains from your eyes, put on a song of change and pump your fist in the air. "I am Innocent, I am blameless".

Next month, there you are again. Sin. That ugly, ugly, thing, has captured your heart again. Push repeat, push replay, it plays the same, again and again.

Have you ever repented for your sins? I mean "truly" repented. No just feeling sorry about your mistakes, and than pushing them under the covers under the label of "another chance".
When you make a mistake, when you sin, how do you feel about it? Do you feel defeated? Do you feel remorseful? Do you feel terrible? What to you,is the worst thing about sinning? Is it the way it hurts
other people? The way it makes you feel? What it does to you? The consequence?

A lot of people, especially those who seem to be stuck in continually sinning, or sinning in one
particular area over and over again, feel either one of two things. Either they live in remorse after
every sin, and drown in the consequence. Or they become numb towards their sin, and give up trying or wanting to become different. After all change is "too" hard, for someone to do alone...
Which is what a lot of people try to do, they think they can just sin, and claim they're going to be
different and go at it again.

Do you know though that neither of these ways are the road to change? It is not enough for you to feel remorse over what you've done wrong. Because you can Not want to sin any more because of what it does to yourself and others, and you can mourn over what you've been through and the pain you've experienced because of your sin, but you will not change inwardly.

You will continue to make the same mistakes. Because if you do not see what Christ has done for you on the cross, if you do not see the sacrifice that has been made for you. If you do not see "what" sin is in a nutshell, then you will not be changed. A lot of people, Pity, Pity, Pity over their constant sin, and in doing so "push God" out of the picture. Repentance isn't "just" feeling sad over what you have done, because anyone who has had to face the consequence of his mistakes has felt "sorry" about their choices. Yet, you must feel sorry over your sin, but not just because it is like a ball that you throw that hits you back in the head, nor a Frisbee that comes back around to hit home, but because it hurts the one who made You. Sin, not only is bad for your health, and those around you, but hurts God. Matter of fact, it hurt God "soo much"...

Christ was blameless, but yet He died for us sinners. That through belief and repentance we may all receive forgiveness and new life. Stop rejecting Christ, by weeping over your sins, and then not coming to repentance. Repent from your sins.

Unless you realize that your sins hurt and disobey a perfect God, you will not stop the constant sinning. You must realize that if Christ hadn't died in your stead, you would be eternally guilty of all
of your sins. You would be punished for every sin not only be consequence but by punishment by death. God is all holy. He will not tolerate sin, that is not covered by the blood of Christ through Repentance. Without Christ you would be guilty, guilty, guilty.

Have you ever watched the movie or read the book "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe"? In the film adaption a young boy named Edmund, has betrayed His siblings for selfish reasons, (sin), and in doing so has become property of the 'White Witch', because anyone who sins belongs to her, and must die, be sacrificed on a stone table. Because only the shedding of blood can end the guilt of sin, someone must die for the sin committed. Aslan, the Lion King of this story is a representation of God. He sets the boy free, and dies in his place, fulfilling the law of the land that one must die for his sin. But because He is blameless, He breaks the curse and the stone table cracks in two. Aslan resurrects and saves the day.

Aslan is a Christ figure. This is what Christ did for us. He let us go free, and died in our place. He is the only truly blameless being, because He is the Son of God. God made mankind, mankind rebelled against him in the garden, bringing the pain and consequences of their disobedience along with them. And than God, out of His love, died for Mankind.

We are all guilty of sin. We have all done things that are sins. Lies, cheated, lusted, etc...We all must be covered by the blood of Christ. We all must repent in order to be Saved.
What is true repentance though? It is believing in what Jesus did for You. That He rose from the grave, to prove your sin can be forgiven you, and that death cannot contain the Son of God. The cross is the symbol of the guilt of sin, the empty tomb of the new life in Christ!
True repentance is followed by a turning from the sin of the past, true repentance is surrendering ones sinful desires. True repentance is life change.

Fall on your knees. Ask God to forgive you of your sins. Surrender your sinful desires to Him. If you do not, you will not change, you will continue sinning, and continue hurting God, and others. God is the one you do most wrong to when you sin, God is the one who made you, and hurts when you hurt, hurts when you don't listen to Him, when you disregard Him, when you hurt His other creations, when you try to disprove him by living like he doesn't exist or reward those who trust Him.
Jesus died to give you a new life in Him. Believe in what He has done for you on the cross. I don't mean just to "accept" it, I mean really, really, "Believe" it. You see, unless you realize that  Believe that He died because of sin, and that He rose from the dead to save you from it.

Truly repent of your sin. Sorrow over how you've hurt God. And ask not only forgive Him to forgive you for your rebellion, but to forgive you for harming His creation, harming yourself, and ask Him to change your desires to give Him glory. Ask for a new heart, a new mind, the making of a new man. Become a new Creation in Christ Jesus. You cannot, and will not become a new creation if you are not truly repentant, because being truly repentant means you are "sorry for your "sin"...not just sorry for the consequence. Let your heart be softened to true repentance, and a desire for holiness.

If you are not willing to give up the sin, you are not willing to change. Just wanting to change for "yourself", and the way others view you, is not good enough, because it is still selfish. Selfishness is the root of sin.
Selfishness is the cause of the Devil's fall, Selfishness will not change you. Morning over you sins, because it hurts "you" is not the way of change, morning because it hurts God, because sin is truly "sinful" is different. I pray you will be given a new view on your sin, that you will see it for what it is, and see what Christ has done for you as it really is. May you truly repent; and in result be Changed.

Aslan and Edmund

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Courage to Change: offense and courage

Your legs are unsteady, your heart in bruised, the fear inside wells up and leads you to dread. All that has happened around you, the loved ones that walked out the door, the friendships that are no more...It's just too much...Where will you fall? and what will break your fall? Pain, hurt, can lead us to sin.
Offenses can lead us to doubt, or lose our courage in who we are in Christ. Do not let hurt or uncertainty weaken the fact that in Christ we are more than conquerors! Christ is waiting outside your door, arms wide to hold you in your time of need. He says  "Do not fear, for I am with You, do not be dismayed for I am your God". In this life, we face constant change and disappointment.

 I've always believed that "it is my choice how I am affected by what goes on around me". I've always thought, that the true sting of the offense, had to do with whether or not I believed it, dwelt on it, or surrendered it to Christ. We are affected by much around us, other people, circumstances, etc etc etc...But, think back for a moment about the time when you were yelled at, and the words were thrown into your face, and pierced at your very core of faith, what did you do afterward? Did you dwell on those words, did you inwardly believe them? even for a moment? Did you quickly surrender those things spoken against you or your faith to God, and His world?

Most likely, if you were seriously affected by what was spoken, it is because you it settle within you, or you didn't quickly combat it with the truth. It's like being wounded in battle, and not putting something on your wound, or quickly getting your wound sown together; instead it's like letting that wound stay open, and when you do the air getting to it, and the bugs getting to it, and germs etc...and it just gets worse! That's how offenses are. But offenses don't only come in the form of words, they come in the form of actions, as well.

A lot of teens are destroyed by offense. It is the reason for most their confusion, doubt, apathy, addictions, and weaknesses. Parents walking out on their families, friends putting them down at school, break ups with the opposite sex, it all jabs at their hearts, and without God, and without belief in the truth they only grow worse.

Let truth invade the lies that you have built upon, the lies that say your "aren't worth it", that is  why your parents aren't there for you, or "you won't succeed" and shouldn't try at anything, or "you will never love again", because your heart has been crushed. You will never grow into who you were meant to be in life, and along the journey - if you are living whether consciously or not, on the lies of the past. If you do not believe you are loved, or you are weakened by the offenses of others, whether in words or deeds, you will not only not be able to live in Joy (which is power), but you will live in weakness as well. You will be more prone to falling into sin...because any lie, or untruth result not only in breaking down emotions, but breaking down the spiritual courage inside to do what you know is right.

 I've seen this happen in many young folks lives, and only recently has it become curious to me. A young man is angry at his Father who has let Him down, and suddenly their standards begin to slide. A young girl is heartbroken because her lover has dumped her, and suddenly she begins to fall down in a dark hole...It is "offenses", "hurts", "let downs", and lead a lot of people to become the Gothic, the bum, the suicidal fellow, the girl that cuts herself. It is usually hurt, anger, because of an offense - that brings them there. Interesting isn't it, that offense can actually become the root of sin? A young boy can be treated wrong, and in result grow up to "harm" others.

Also, it's important to note, that not always is this conscious, most good people that were done wrong, they hurt others in result, not on purpose, but because hurt unattended, because offense unattended, or rebuked can destroy you. You might be one of those people who think "I'm not willing to give up the hurt, I have right to feel hurt, or angry, about what has happened" but be ye careful, and be ye wise, it is better to be free from hurt than it is to let offense fester. God says it is alright to be angry, but not to hold onto that anger. God says to think on these things: "Whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is pure, whatever is praiseworthy, if there is anything of such worth, think on these things!"

God also says to have Joy no matter what the situation is. If you are being persecuted  for righteousness sake, if you were walked out on, if you were cursed, if you be in Christ, consider it jewels on your crown. Christ was persecuted, Christ was not only scorned, whipped, and spit upon, but He was deserted by His own friends! But what did He do? He did not revile them, He did not let offense make Him bitter or disobedient to God. Instead, upon the very cross where he died, he said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" And so must we be, when we are done wrong to, we must forgive, and not let anything steal our power, our Joy is our power, and our peace is our power, if we let Satan have his way, and steal our Joy and peace in Christ we are not only doing ourselves an injustice, but the people around us, and disappointing Christ.

 Be courageous. And if you realize that within yourself, you have held to offenses, let them go, and do not let satan have a hold on your life. If you do not let the Truth set you free, you cannot live a Victorious life. If you are not willing to let go of the hurt, the pain, the anger, (even if it is real, or rightfully yours) - than you will never experience the liberty you have in Christ Jesus. You must be willing to let go of the pain, and forget the offenses of yesterday. You must be willing to pray "Father, forgive he or she, or them...for they know not what they did/do". And pray for those who have offended or hurt you, that they will also become willing to let go of whatever offenses they hold inside, so that they will not continue to harm others around them.

The most dark and sinful people can be made out of the smallest dissapointment, because they let a lie live inside them and in doing so, accepted even more lies, therefore the built their lives upon them. I encourage those who are realizing that they have been letting hurts rule their lives, and hearts, so much that they have lowered their standards, and have looked to belong in all the wrong places, I enourage you who are such to take the step neccessary to change.

Be willing to embrace Liberty, and let Truth fill you. You will live a life to the fullest then. Do not let anything weaken you to fall into that dark hole in the ground. Give Jesus the wheel, and when you well that offenses, or hurts, whether from loss or fear are weakening you to less than you should or can be, surrender them to Christ, let them go. Know that He gives good to all that love Him, and that He has the earth in His hands, he will not leave you or forsake You. "His" love never faulters, and His yoke is easy, and His burden is Light...He says "Come to me, all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". "Forgive", and embrace my "Love".

He gives power to those who have been hurt, or worn down, He gives strength to the weak, even youth will faint, and young men become exhausted, but those who wait upon the Lord, those who Trust in Him, those who come to Him, He will renew their strength, and they will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. God give you the Courage to Overcome, and the Courage to Change. Taste and See that "The Lord" is good, he will not let you go, or leave you alone, "His" love endures forever, In His presence is the fullness of Joy.

Man may fail you, but cling to hope, God is lasting in His love and purpose for You.
Do not let satan have his way, you do not have to be weak, you "can" be strong in Jesus!
Say to yourself "I "am" strong in Christ! Thank God, You have fought the battle for my soul,
you have paid the price on Calvery"! I am free by believing in your Truth! The truth that I am loved
and a Victor by the blood of Christ!

Keep your eyes on what Christ has done for you, the lovely, and the good, do not let evil or depressing, doubt or hurt take your eyes off of the truth. God has already supplied a way out from sin, by forgiveness and love. He loved and forgave you, and He wants you to forgive and to love too. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might to say "no" to the power of offense, and yes to liberty in truth! You are loved, You are Free, You are His. Be uplifted, God is on your side.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Needing You

This may not be a very significant blog post...but then again who knows!
I just want to write, and put something out there to the world, so here goes.
Every think yourself into a stupper?
Every desire something, but aren't patient enough to actually study or
wait for it?

At this time in my life, I'm seriously in need of other people's interaction.
This has been going on for awhile.
It's a chore for me to read, study etc...and it seems the only thing my heart
has been really open to has been learning and growing by interaction with
other people.
I am the type of person that is inspired by other people in many ways...
Other than God Himself, People/Characters and their lives are what
inspire me to study, pray, sing, and proclaim the goodness of Christ.
This can be a good thing, but also I'm beginning to wonder if it is
actually all "right". I know that every personality, and temperment has
their own way they are inspired by God.
For me it seems, a lot of the time I am drawn to God, and the Knowledge
of God, by becoming a mediator in the lives of others. Or seeing someone
other than myself in need of God, and I recognize the need in them, and
it stirs me to want God, and want to share His love.

Yet, at this time I feel like I should not let this way of inspration, take
the place of a personal relationship stirred out of my own heart and
need of God. So I've taken a few steps. I've bought a book. For me,
this is big, because I don't like reading. The name of the book is
"Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I'm hoping that within the pages I will
be stirred even more to know, and seek out my Creator.
I know, that in order to fall more in love with God, I must first realize more
considering who He is, and what He offers.

Will I be patient enough? Will I actually sit in a room, and my mind not
be taken away by other thoughts. Can sharing become an idol?
Maybe I've just become deprived of fellowship, and that is why whenever
even the slightest thought about God that is relevant to me, pops into my
head, all I can think of doing is "share it". So I stop studying, and race
to the computer or my phone.
God, I want You to be the most important thing to Me. It's hard to keep
things in proper focus.
I seem to have feed an attitude of lack of patience when it comes to learning
most times. I like the quick fixes, or person at the other end of the line.
God, sometimes because You are not physically here beside me, I think of
You like another thing to learn. Like studying a text book, filled with things
I may, or may not ever use or experience personaly in my life.
I don't want to feel the same way about You that I felt about learning other
things in my life. I want to love You, and I want to find You.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Searching" for that Special Someone : Day 287 of Teen Devo

If you're still searching for that special someone,
be patient, be prudent, and be picky.
Look for someone whose values you respect, whose
behavior you approve of, and whose faith you admire.

Remember that appearances can be deceiving and tempting,
so watch your step. And when it comes to the important
task of building a lifetime relationship, pray about it!

If you happen to be one of those persons who have already
fallen madly in love, say a great big thanks to the
Matchmaker in heaven. But if you haven't yet found your love,
don't fret. Just keep trusting God, and keep yourself open to
the direction in which He is leading you.

And remember : When it comes to selecting someone, God
wants to give His approval - or not - but He won't give it
until He's asked. So ask, listen, and decide accordingly.

When feeling becomes the dominant force in a relationship, the
relationship is bound for trouble, because feelings change.
- Ed Young

Change from Continual Sin

I find that there are really four things
that prevent us from continual stumbling after being reconciled with Christ.
1. Being willing to 'give up' our sin
2. Believing that we 'don't have to sin' anymore
3. Heeding to the Holy Spirit's conviction before we again commit a sin
4. Strengthening our distaste for sin and recognizing the pull of temptation...
God is Forgiving; but sin seems to always be facing us. What can we do? Fristly, we must truly be willing to give up the sins of the past. A lot of times we do not do this; we say that we want to change, but we are only afraid of the consequences, and do not truly give up the root of our sin. In Christ our desires must change. If we do not surrender our desires to Him, we cannot expect to change our ways. Surrendering our desires to Him, means no longer letting our fleshes rule over us. Secondly, we must believe that "we do not have to sin". We are new creatures by the blood of Christ. A person must believe 'that they no longer have to sin'. Sin is like a Master, and in the past we were servants to sin, but by Christ we no longer have to remain in our shame, nor does sin have to rule over us. Believing that is a big step to change, because the past can haunt us and tell us we 'are still' who we used to be, but we must learn to disregard those lies, and remember that we have a new Master, and He is Christ. We are made Holy, new, and blameless in Him, and in Him we find our new Idenitiy, we are given a new name...
Thridly, we must heed to the Holy Spirit's Conviction in our lives. According to the Bible, there is always a way of excape from temptation, which means when we do sin, we have "chosen" sin over the way of excape. If a person never seems to feel previous conviction before their sin, they are in need of deep prayer to receive the Holy Spirit. For if a person has the Holy Spirit living inside of them, they "do" feel conviction before they act in sin. An important grasp on change and domanance over the flesh, is to not only "be aware of the conviction of the Holy Spirit", but to learn to "listen to it". A lot of the wrong choices we make, are because we rushed into sin, or chose not to listen or heed to the way out. Fourthly, we must truly grow in our distate for the world, sin, and pleasing the flesh. We must truly see the evil in what we do, in order to stop doing it. We must recognize the pain that it brings. One reason that some of us continue to sin, in the same area, over and over again, is because we never learned our lesson the first time. The heartache, and the distate has never truly taught us to hault before making the same choice over and over again. Satan likes to blind us to the fact that we never get what we want from sinning. He wants us to forget how we felt after we have sinned, and he wants us to only think about "the feeling" or "how good the sin felt", he doesn't want us to remember how we felt afterward, or how God feels, or felt about what we had done. God has already freed us from the chains that hung around our necks and bound our hands and feet, but we go look back at them and think to ourselves "oh that was fun", or "that sin was actually not so bad", and we pick "back up" those chains, and "we" "put them back around our neck, and lach them onto our wrists and ankels. God frees us, but we chain ourselves again, and once we realize what we have done...we go to God and ask Him to remove them again. If only we would not look back at those chains, and if we happen to come across them again, instead of picking them back up, kick them into the dust. Be Strong Siblings, God is God, and may You grow a true distate for the sin of the past.
Another important aspect to change, would be a replacment of desire or thought. Ask God to give you His pefect thoughts on what is pure, good, lovely, and uplifting for your life, build your actions upon these things and become so consumed in God's way, that the old ways are not longer as appealing. God's ways are such as these; He wants to present you blameless and pure before Him and others. God strokes your hair and prepares for you a white robe of beauty and righteousness. You have always been wanted by Him, worthy of His pursuit, and usable for His glory. May this fall only be a reminder of the ugliness and unsatisfaction of sin, and the Goodness of God. Fill your mind and time with spiritualy uplifting activites, entertainment, fellowship, and thoughts...Merciful is the Lord! may You be strengthened in His might.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Posts and Books to be Written: Please Comment!

I just wanted to make a post to remind myself of what I need to write and blog hehe,
and I wanted to get some outside encouragment, advice etc...
 I want to write two books one called 'Art of the Heart' and the other called 'The Courage to Change'.
I came up with the ideas last year for both of them, and I do enjoy writing, but I just
need a bit of a shove in the right direction.
Feel free to leave your oppinions and encouragment bellow :)

Art of the Heart: is about being a messenger of your worldview through art and creativity.
It's about realizing where your heart is before God, and being able to recognize where
it is heading and how things art influences you and the others around you.
Growing in a realationship with Your Creator, and imitating Him and shinning His light
through your art. Also I want to infuse it with some factual stuff on the history of spirituality
in art.

The Courage to Change: is about exactly that, "finding the courage to change". It's based on
encouraging the next step towards change whether that means overcoming addiction,
overcoming doubt, guilt, temptation, or insicurity...though finding the will power, surrendering
to the One who can give you power to overcome, and discovering how to embrace the life we
have have in Christ.

So what do you think? Would you be interested in reading either of these books?
I'm thinking about making a blog for each one of these topics/books...and first blogging
a section or blogging them chapter for chapter. Or I could just get to writing, and
make blogs for each book once I've finished them.
Right now I'm also working on finishing/re-editing a novel I wrote a few years ago,
so I might be multitasking in writing. But writing is always a good thing to do in the winter,
when there is plenty of time to be spent indoors.
Ok. so leave me a comment if you'd like! And let me know what you think.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Audrey Assad - Known (Slideshow With Lyrics)

" ...Savior You have known me as I am, and Healer You have known me as I
was, as I 'will be'...In the morning and the evening You have known me..."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

People shall let you down...

People will let you down. That is an inevitable in life. And usually it's not on purpose either. After the fall, people just can't help but let us down sometimes. Human nature is so failing in this fallen world. It wasn't meant to be this way, people were not created to be untrustworthy, unloving, disapproving, critical, and selfish. We choose this. And in all honesty, the only hope we have is through Christ. Everything else won't solve our issues. God is Love, and what we are looking for is love.
Don't get me wrong, People were never meant to fill us completely. God was always our life source. But in all truth, God knew that we would not be physically and emotionally complete without other people.
Which is why He made not just Adam in the garden of Eden, but Eve as well. "For it is not good for man to be alone"...[to be conitnued]...
Trust in God. He will not leave you alone. And if you do find yourself in a time in our life when you
are lacking of fellowship etc. Don't cry; we've all been there. Christ has been there. And one day my friends, there will be no more loneliness! there will be no more let downs! We will reign with Christ, and we will fellowship with eachother, and with Him for all Eternity. Love will fill our hearts, and Unity is our King and Savior. The day will come. Look to it ;) Draw close to Christ, and don't let your hearts grow discouraged...

Uderstanding Letdown, decision making, and other thoughts...

Right now I'm sitting here, and am trying to recollect my thoughts on what to type. It's been a great summer. God has blessed me with some great experiences, that have resulted in lovely memories, and hopefully will further bloom into Christ glorying work...Thank God, for all the great things He has supplied this past summer...But of course, there has been the conflict, the strife, the pondering...Life just wouldn't be life on earth, without some of that I suppose. Something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and not just lately, but over the past year and a 'decision making'. Another thing I've been trying to overcome, is some sort of apathy, or perhaps lack of confidence, in my faith. And the reason for that has not exactly been of my own doing. Last fall I endured a"ex-communication" from a friend. There was a misunderstanding, and ultimately the friendship dissipated into a ever present 'guilt memory'. No fun. It hurts to be judged wrong, and it hurts to give your affection and realize that you "walked on broken glass" (see other blog post). Even though God worked it all out, for my good, and the better of the other person...the worst thing about the whole cynario is that since then I've felt like I've fallen out from my cloud in the sky and landed on the cement; because  I realized, what we all realize at one time or another of our lives, that if we do not study God's word, hear it, or fellowship, we don't grow very deep in Faith. For Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of God ...Secondly I was affected by another close conflict. Something even more 'home-hitting'. Just when I was getting to hear the word of God, fellowship with others, and grow some more in my faith, I was basically kicked in the stomach by un-christian teaching, and statements that broke me down to sitting limp on the cold wood floor. And even right now, as I'm writing this, I'm realizing a few very important things...
1. Things don't remain the same. We all grow and change.
2. Don't let other people's remarks, lies, and lack of care, destruct your faith, or make you believe
that you are less than God says that you are.
3. God can use what you go through to glorify Him, but only if you let Him do so...
don't be afraid to be honest about yourself, even if that means you are beaten,
bruised, broken, apathetic or doubtful.
Back to the topic of 'decision making'. Sometimes it's just plain hard. Sometimes there isn't really anyone to turn to for sound advice, sometimes all you have is thoughts and personal boundries in your head. It's not easy. It's certainly not all that fair. Sometimes the choices seem extremely small compared to the larger more common ones of life, but you know deep inside that they are 'just' as important. We all have the questions "what is my purpose?" "what is love?" "what is faith?" "what will I do?" "who will I marry?" these sort of questions...and we are plauged with decisions and choices that will determine a good bit of our futures. We try not to associate with those we know are not good for us to, we try to work hard and accomplish something with our days, we try to draw closer to Christ by listening to him...but it's not always easy. Like the choice between sitting and listening to God, or instead going to a friend, or making a phone call or not making that phone call, or letting yourself become attached to someone that you might shouldn't, but there is no one else...these sort of decisions, the ones that aren't "black and white", and aren't "talked about as often". I'm a believer in the fact that "little decisions" are important in our lives. God is the only one we can go to with these things that can't really be understood by others in our lives...God sees the bigger picture. What we need is the faith to believe that He truly does, and that as much as life is about choices, between the good, the bad, and the best...God is the giver, and holder, of all the "best".
"So God, please lead us in our decisions, please give us guidance in our moments of misunderstanding, give us hope and the faith in times of uncertainty and worry. God please show us how to redirect our thoughts to you, and to live is the fullness of who you'd have us to be on this earth. Cause...we it seems that more than anything, we are striving, to just 'be what we have been created to be', and what we've been 'destined to be'. Our lives are filled with struggle and a fight for Identity. God, and as much as you want us to fight for the 'best' in our lives, please, don't let us forget that this life isn't 'about us', it's not all about 'our happines' etc...not even all about 'our choices'. It's all about You. And once we get our eyes off of ourselves, once we stop our pondering for awhile, and realize that truly, 'you' are all we need focus on and fight, for...then, we lose some of that unnessary, all consuming, striving.  That even though there are good things that we should also stand up for, and "go hard" for, we aren't "on this earth" to 'demand, or claim, un-scared, smooth surfaced lives'. Instead we should surrender all our hurts, let downs, emotions, feelings, and You. You make the beauty in our lives. It is in You, that we live, we move, and have our being. Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Alimighty, who was, and is, and is to come. Forgive us our unessesary striving, and selfishness. We look to You. "

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cadet For Christ ~ Running the Course: Love's Pain

Cadet For Christ ~ Running the Course: Love's Pain: A conversation with a friend earlier revealed some rather home-hitting truths about the perspective of love's place in life.

You know, it...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beauty Restored; and Beauty Made

Right now I'm blowing my poor nose and rubbing my watery eyes...I've been sick. So when I look in the mirror I see the farthest thing from physically "attractive". A red nose, dry skin, half open eyes. But this doesn't seem to matter. God is restoring beauty, and forming beauty that perhaps has never surfaced in my life before.
Remember also in one of my last blog posts I was mentioning how "Forgiveness" is a step towards true healing and beauty.
Health and Beauty go hand in hand. They really do. You can't look your best on the outside if you are sick...even, sick or wounded on the inside. Beauty begins with love. Beauty, in - people, circumstances, begins with "real" love. As an example;
If You've ever see someone's face when they are "in love" with the one they plan to spend the rest of their life with...That love, makes them look even more beautiful on the outside, such as a glow to their face etc. That is because love shines from the inside out. Love can make anyone a beautiful creature. Love is the basis for Beauty. Love is forgiving, love is meek, love does not boast, is not proud, does not provoke to anger...Love...
Live in love, and you will live in Beauty, Live in Love and you will fulfill the law, Live in Love and you will live in Christ's example.
People will remember Beauty....because what people truly remember, is "Love".
And the greatest thing about this is; if you give Love, you will reap Love.
If you live "beautifully" aka "live in love" then you will reap "beauty" and "love" in your own life.
God wants to Love you. Let Him do it, and you will find yourself getting more than a make-over. If you let yourself be consumed in God's Love, if you 'lose yourself there', and trust God to satisfy your soul- then things can be transformed, beauty expanded, and God can heal you.
True Love enables Trust. Trust can only be preformed if there is the knowledge and belief in a degree of Trustworthiness. How do we know someone is trustworthy? God is trustworthy...Not only because He has always proved to be so, but because we know His Love for us goes beyond how "we usually tend to love"...God was always true, even up to sending His own Son. And Christ died for us, even "while we were yet sinners".

I want to encourage you, the reader, to find your Identity in Christ, and no longer in your own goals, nor in the lies of others, or the offers of the world, but instead to find it in a Love story, a Love story that involves "you losing your old selfish self, in the love of God" and "finding the more beautiful person he has made for you to be, by falling in love with Him". Sanctification is a process; Beauty is a process. For example; when you first believed in Christ and asked Him to forgive you of your sins, that black ugly chunk of cole that you used to be, suddenly was cracked open, fell off, just like a hard nut shell, and reveled a raw, precious gem underneath. Yet that stone is un-cut, un-polished etc. That is where your "life with Christ" comes in. Having a moment of decision to serve God for the first time, asking Him to forgive You your sins, to confess your belief in Him, is an amazing moment, and the start of a journey. It is not the end, but the beginning. We are like those raw precious stones after we come to God...We must let God continue to form us, sand us, and polish us. Just like that clay vessel on the potter's wheel, we must not think just because we've jumped on the Potter's wheel, that we are perfect...without being formed, spun, molded, polished etc. The same with Salvation, we cannot think just because we've taken the leap into faith in Christ that we are perfect...without letting God work in, on, with, and through - us.
There are things that we can never do to our selves to make us more beautiful, (more like Christ), and more into the person that we are meant to be, because there are some things that only God can do to us, that only God can preform on us, and inside us, and through us. Also some beautifying can only be done in, and through us - by Other People, Circumstances, situations...
Love "wows" us. It really does. And God, who is full of Love for us, likes to "Wow" us :) He likes to do things for us that we think are impossible. And God want's you to radiate in the beauty He knows can shine from you. He wants to restore you, heal you, form you, and let you shine like the Amazing Jem that you are. God has plans for you...Yes, He does. Plans for good, for your wellbeing, and "NOT" for evil. God does not have plans to distort you, to take a sword and make cuts to your realtionship with Him, nor is He like a vampire that wants to suck your life. God "wants" you to be blessed in every way, He wants to give you Abundant Living. But you've got to let Him, and you've got to have a relationship with Him. Evil and unrighteous: harm, brokenness, hurt, true ugliness, all comes from the Enemy and from sin. God is Light, there is no darkness in Him. God created you to be in perfect harmony with Him. Sin seperates us, yet because of the Love of God, through Christ Jesus we can come boldly unto the throne of Grace. I just want you to "expect". Be "Expectant" that God will Restore, God will heal, God will make you more into the beautiful person that you are meant to be...and have the potential to be! That you are inside! But, that beauty can never be shone, that potential can never be reached, or produced...if you don't surrender to the Crafter's hands. Yet, if you really Trust Him, beauty can be restored, and beauty can be formed from the ashes.